Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill
It’s a pleasant stroll along the sand from the high-rise hotels on Palm Beach to this thatched-roof bar on a pier where no shoes and no shirt hardly mean no service. During the day, vacationers—mostly from the United States, Holland and Canada—arrive in swim trunks and bikinis, salty and sunburned, to relish the shade and the views with a cold Balashi beer. The 5–6 p.m. happy hour is when the party really kicks off; live music, free Latin dance lessons or karaoke, depending on the night.
Palm Pier, 79 J.E. Irausquin Blvd.; bugaloe.com
This iconic beach bar opened on the cliffs in 1974 when Negril was little more than a fishing village with no electricity. Get there before sunset to watch the main event: Ripped-bodied divers hang from 35-foot-high platforms before spiraling from the cliffs and piercing the sea below with Greg Louganis–like finesse. If that doesn’t take your breath away, the molten sunsets will. Courageous tourists get in on the action, too, albeit from lower ledges. “After my brave jump, I watched the sunset and thought, This is what travel is all about,” recalls Erica James of Nashville. Planter’s Punch and Red Stripe are the go-to drinks, but if you’re feeling bold, try the Front End Lifter (aka Jamaican Viagra): a fortifying blend of stout beer, white rum, oatmeal, cream and an egg.
West End Rd.; rickscafejamaica.com